Broken

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Endless, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Endless
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    Well i'm finally giving up. After weeks and weeks of testing and driver updates etc, i'm finally proclaiming my graphics card a lost cause. I've not idea how it got like it is, but what i do know is I can't put up with it anymore.

    So because i have virtually no spare money what wth saving money for when my wife is on maternity leave, i will be down-grading my mobile phone by exchanging it for a cheaper phone and a graphics card with a small monetry contribution at www.cex.co.uk. My phone will get me £150($300) in exchange with which to buy both phone and graphics card. The phone i plan to spend around £50 leaving at least £100 for the card, plus whatever cash i can scrape together.

    So ignoring the phone for the minute, because that's really not that important. I've selected 2 graphics cards that cex has available, but there's not a whole lot of info about them. I've tried comparing the nearest match on www.tomshardware.com on each of the tests they do there and the results vary quite a lot in some cases.

    The two cards are:

    An nVidia 8800 GT 512mb PCI-E

    and

    An ATI HD3870 512mb PCI-E

    Generally the ratings appear to be similar, but on overall fps the nVidia card scores much much higher and it scores higher on virtually all the other tests too. However the toms hardware version lists the card with 'OC' presumeably meaning it's factory overclocked, which i have no idea if the one at cex is. And what sort of difference is there likely to be if it isn't?

    So now i'm left with a dilema. The nVida card is £20($40) more than the ATI card at £120($240) I'm leaning towards the ATI, but only because it's cheaper and there's the unknown quantity with the nVida as to whether it's OC or not.

    Any advice? should i not trust tomshardware? Anyone have any better ratings and reviews sites for older cards? These days every review site is comparing the 9800 series nvidias and the new 4800 series ATIs which is quite frustrating when you're not buying cutting edge.

    Which would you choose!!?
     
  2. EF2
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    Try to Google the make and model of your videocard, and that usually gets you a review if it's a popular manufacturer.

    If the two cards are close, then go for the cheaper one. You won't notice ~5 fps differences.
     
  3. Endless
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    There's no manufacturer details on the site, i'd have to ring them probably. Though they have a chain of brick and mortar stores too, but it's not a global stock system. The online one is separate from the high street ones.

    But yeah i think i agree on the minor differences. Both are better than my current semi-broken 8600 GTS so it's a win win situation for the sake of 20 quid.

    I think i half expected there to be some glaring difference that i wasn't privvy to meaning the other would be a better buy lol.
     
  4. i've never had a nvidia that i wasnt happy with
     
  5. EF2
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    Me neither, ATI nor NV. I research what I buy first and expect what I get.
     
  6. Endless
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    Ok so i was checking the stock levels of the two cards in prep for going to the prospective store tomorrow and both the nVidia and ATI cards are gone. >.>

    There's another HD3870 card at a different store, but they have no phones i want/would spit on if it were burning. Now...i've found an nVidia 7950 GX2, which i understand is essentially two graphics cards bolted together plugged into one PCI-E slot with the potential run applications that support SLI.

    Going on reviews and such the 7950 performance appears to vary quite a bit from game to game, which i'm assuming is the difference between running with SLI support and running with what is essentially a single 7900 graphics card.

    TechReport.com explains it all rather nicely, but does anyone have any experience of these pseudo-sli cards?

    Can't believe someone bought my fricken card...i'd all but made up my mind too!
     
  7. swifthawk
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    i got a geforce 1650 pci-e i am not using, its not as good as what you have listed but it would be free
     
  8. Endless
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    Thanks for the offer swifty, but I really need it to play WAR for at least the next year or so until my wife is back at work after maternity leave.

    I've actually managed to find a ATI HD4850 512mb card for the same price as the others lol. It's over 120 miles away though, so meh. I doubt the performance gain is worth the extra petrol money and time.
     
  9. EF2
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    :confused:
     
  10. Endless
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    Just to say thanks for all your help and i went for the HD 3870. And it's so nice to be able to play a game for longer than half an hour without rebooting lol. Plus i had no idea of some of the graphical features my old card wasn't rendering properly!

    Only one thing: I now have an unknown PCI Device and i've not idea what it is. Normally windows says something like 'Unknown PCI audio/game/display device' or something so you have some idea what it is. But this is simply 'PCI Device'. I haven't added anything and my new graphics card is working fine, no problems. So i can only assume it's something on my motherboard.

    I have an nForce mobo so when i uninstalled my graphics card i had to specifically choose only display drivers, so as not to bugger up all the network and HDD drivers for the mobo. But i suppose there could be something else relying on display drivers?

    There's no onboard video and the onboard sound is disabled in bios, so i've no idea what it is. Any way I could find out? My SB Audigy is the only thing plugged into a PCI slot, so i'm at a bit of a loss really. It doesn't seem to be affecting much though so if i can't figure it out then it looks like it's ok to leave it be!

    *Shrug*
     

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